Four Trio Sonatas composed by Arcangelo Corelli (1653-1713)
Arranged by David H. Bailey for 2 C flutes and Alto flute
Includes score and parts
Sonata da chiesa, Opus 1, No. II
Sonata da chiesa, Opus 1, No. III
Sonata da camera, Opus 2, No. IV
Sonata da camera, Opus 2, No. VIII
Baroque sonatas are works written for one or two soloists and basso continuo. The basso continuo part would be realized on whatever keyboard instrument was available (harpsichord or organ) and reinforced with a bass instrument such as bass viol, cello, or bassoon. Originally the sonatas grew out of the Renaissance dance suite, where each movement would be written in the style and form of a particular dance of the day, such as Sarabande, Allemande, Giga, Courante, or Pavanne, but Corelli composed sonatas for solo violin and continuo as well as trio sonatas for 2 violins and continuo.
Corelli refined the trio sonata form, writing two distinctly different forms of trio sonatas. His sonatas da chiesa were intended for church use and so they were written with an organ continuo in mind, accompanied often by bass viol. These church sonatas were abstract in nature, with no specific movement names other than tempo indications. Sonatas da camera were intended for chamber music use outside of the church and these often still bore the dance names from the Renaissance dance suites, usually with the continuo part realized on the harpsichord.
The four sonatas in this set are from Corelli's 12 Sonatas da chiesa Opus 1, and 12 Sonatas da camera Opus 2, two sonatas from each set. The name trio sonata is somewhat of a misnomer since they were preformed by four musicians, yet there are only three instrumental parts composed, which is where the name derives from. While the addition of a keyboard realization of the continuo part changes the nature of the music substantially, the purity of the three instrumental lines as composed by Corelli is something that many people never hear.
This set of four trio sonatas does away with the keyboard continuo part and lets the wonderful interweaving and balance of the three instrumental lines come through with great clarity. They have been altered from their original keys in order to fit the instrumentation of 2 c flutes and alto flute, and interpretive markings have been added to assist modern performers to capture the essence of the music.